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Written By: Gene Luen Yang Art By: Howard Porter, Raymund Bermudez, Tom Derenick, Hi-Fi, Lee Loughridge, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: December 26, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a goddamned pro wrestler. Boy, have I not been digging this title for awhile now, not only because of the current Mythbrawl arc, where Superman would rather be fighting gods and getting cheers from an audience than taking on the villain, but this villain Hordr_Root has just been terrible as well. He's got secret complexes in the clouds, that you get to by a magic bus, energy sucking robots and as we saw in the previous issue, clones of people made out of sand. That's right, sand clones and in the last issue Superman take on his fully powered sand clone and Jimmy Olsen payed the price when old Sandy accidentally shot him in the chest with it's heat vision. Jimmy's days might be numbered, but so may Hordr_Root's because as that issue ended we saw the villain just straight up mocking Superman on how easy it would be to hurt anyone he loves. Let's jump into this issue and see what Superman will do now that Hordr_Root has made it personal. Let's check it out.
As much as I haven't been a fan of this Superman arc, I have to say that I was even less a fan of when Superman was going all Solar Flare all the time and the one good thing I can say about reading this depowered Superman is that we don't have to deal with that nonsense anymore........... Of course I'm wrong though and after Condesa gets Jimmy on the way to the hospital, Superman resumes fighting his sand clone, who being a clone would be all about Solar Flaring just like Clark was before he got slapped with the Truth. Only problem.......... besides incorporating the solar flare again is that it's portrayed wrong. As we saw before, whenever Superman would go all nuclear, there would be a giant explosion destroying everything in the area, but here Clark is just flung back a few feet, without so much as a burn and the sand clone is turned to glass for his efforts. Superman then goes and shatters his grainy turned smooth doppelganger to make sure that the fight is over and I'm left scratching my head as to why Superman believed that if he got the sand clone to solar flare that he'd not only finish the fight, but end up absorbing the power. Dude was already flying right next to the sun in Superman/Wonder Woman and that didn't work, but I guess he's just grasping at straws because he's going through power withdrawals.
Well, even though it looked like Jimmy got impaled with heat vision last issue, it looks like he's going to be alright since Condesa got him to the hospital and Clark plans on taking the fight to Hordr_Root so that none of his friends will have to suffer because of him again. Of course that means we have to go back to Mythbrawl so Clark can tender his resignation, but the former Man of Steel has made some friends since he started wrestling and they're not about to let him take on this baddie alone......... and for some reason that means that Haemosu and him have to put on a fake fight while they wait for Hordr_Root to come to him. So we have a bunch of wrestling gods going up against Hordr_Root and his Quarmer robots and to make sure that this is the final battle, one of the gods puts a techno shield around the area so that Hordr_Root won't be able to send his signal over the internet to escape again. With that the fight is on.
In the end, Superman and his god pals win the day and we see a glimmer of Superman sneak through this t-shirt clad lummox, when he decides not to kill Hordr_Root, even though the villain claims that if he doesn't, none of his friends will ever be safe. Condesa then comes in and downloads Hordr_Root's consciousness into a hard drive and we find out that Superman ultimately made the right choice in sparing this body hopping nogoodnik when we find out that he had downloaded himself into Jimmy Olsen's body. So yeah, that would of been a hell of a thing for Superman to deal with. Superman goes on to piss me off some more when he turns the hard drive over to Mister Terrific to keep safe.......... even though he's supposed to be on Earth 2 ..........and looks like a burn patient when we first see him. The story ends with Jimmy finding out due to him having residual Hordr memories that the creator of Hordr_Root was a paralyzed son of Vandal Savage, who was spurned by his father for being less than perfect, so he created another version of himself to be daddy's perfect little boy..... that killed his creator because as Highlander taught us, there can only be one. Daddy apparently loves this version of his son though and breaks into Mister Terrific's lab to get his baby boy back.
That's it for this issue of Superman and even though I really didn't like this story arc, I have to say that even with it's continuity problems, solar flare misconceptions and Jimmy being damn near close to having a healing factor, I didn't mind this issue as much. Yeah, it has some glaring problems and it may just be because we finally got this series to match up with what's going on with the rest of the Superman titles..... plus it ended Mythbrawl and Hordr_Root...... at least for the time being........ You know what? I'm not sure what I'm trying to get at here. Superman acted like Superman, we got some decent action, the story line that I didn't care for ended, plus it had decent art in the beginning, but don't go getting use to it because by the midway point it totally goes downhill before righting itself by the end. These are the main reasons that I liked the book, but by no means does that mean it's good...... It's just better than most.
Bits and Pieces:
Superman finally takes on Hordr_Root after getting tired of wrestling and even though this isn't a great issue, it does promise to at least be entertaining....... if not a little frustrating due to characters that don't belong in this continuity showing up for no reason. The art in the beginning of the book was great, but by the midway point it had a radical change that really through me off and while I didn't mind this issue all that much, it still isn't all that good.